At the time this post was written, residents of the two Bahamian islands most impacted by hurricane Dorian were hard at work rebuilding their shattered lives. Dorian’s destruction serves as a constant reminder that none of us are but a step away from disaster. In Dorian’s aftermath, we wondered how many law firms in the U.S. are prepared to work during an emergency scenario.
The thing about emergencies is that they often have long-lasting consequences. If your law firm had been a Bahamian firm located on one of the two previously mentioned islands, would you have the capability to continue working? Your clients would hope so. You are the one they would turn to for representation in the months after the storm.
Thankfully, the U.S. has been spared significant hurricane damage this year. But there’s always next year. And if you live in the northern regions of the country, you are now looking at the potential for winter emergencies. There are earthquakes to consider on the West Coast as well as next spring’s tornadoes in the Midwest.
Develop an Emergency Plan
The key to continuity during emergencies is having a comprehensive plan in place. This is a plan that can be easily executed under most emergency scenarios; a plan that can continue in perpetuity until conditions return to normal. A good emergency plan considers the following:
- Data security
- Temporary work locations
- Maintaining communication
- Staff expectations and responsibilities.
Having an emergency plan in place is all about knowing what to do when an emergency strikes. Without a plan, your firm could be crippled – if only because no one knows what to do.
Keeping Data Secure
Electronic data has to be accessible even during emergency situations. Moreover, you have to be able to guarantee its integrity. Data security is one of the many reasons we recommend moving away from locally hosted software in favor of the cloud. By moving legal case management into the cloud, you are protecting your data from future disaster.
When you choose NuLaw as your case management application, you are choosing a cloud-based application that stores your data on remote servers. Note that your data is backed up on multiple servers in different locations in order to maintain redundancy. A disaster in your local area should have no impact on data because we protect it in so many other locations.
There are times when emergency situations make it impossible to work in the office. You could be looking at something as simple as the power being out. On the other hand, maybe your building was so damaged that it is uninhabitable. Do your attorneys have the ability to work remotely until your office is up and running again?
Communicating with Clients
The most important part of working during an emergency is keeping in contact with clients. They already have enough stress in their lives; they do not need the added stress of not being able to contact you. So again, do you have the means to communicate with your clients in the event of an emergency? NuLaw’s built-in communication capabilities keep you and your clients in contact with one another in a safe and secure environment.
Emergencies are a normal part of life. From minor power outages to destructive acts of nature, it only takes one disaster to determine whether or not a law firm has what it takes to adapt. Is your firm ready and capable of working during an emergency? If not, we can help with the software aspect. Contact us to learn more about NuLaw.